2011: two La Niñas make it cooler and wetter

Cover of the Annual Climate Summary 2011

Annual Climate Summary 2011

The climate of 2011 was dominated by two La Niña events: a strong event peaking over the summer of 2010–11 and a second La Niña which developed in late 2011. This contributed to record rainfall for Australia over a two-year period and cooler than average temperatures over most of Australia last year, particularly in the northern parts.

These conditions are explained in the newly released Annual Climate Summary 2011 and analysed against longer-term trends.

Key points for the Australian climate in 2011 include:

  • Average rainfall across Australia was 705 mm, making it the second wettest year on record behind 1974
  • Annual temperatures were 0.14 °C below average, making 2011 the first below average year since 2001 (which was also a La Niña year)
  • The back-to-back La Niña events contributed to a two-year rainfall record of 1408 mm, just surpassing the old record of 1407 mm set in 1973–74
  • Although annual temperatures were below average in Australia, it was the warmest La Niña year globally on record.

Access the Annual Climate Summary 2011